John saw Rebecca go past his office after his meeting was over. “Rebecca, please step in.”

Rebecca came in and sat. John continued, “The semester just ended. Have you completed your degree?”

Rebecca replied, “Yes. My thesis was accepted, and I finished all my classes. The graduation ceremony is tomorrow. I only have two admission tickets, and I’d like to use them for my parents.”

“As well you should. We’ll take the graduation ceremony as the start date for the four-year clock. You can take a week off, starting now, for the accomplishment of getting your Masters. I congratulate you on a job well done and on a personal growth milestone. And, while I’m thinking about it…”

John stopped and typed at his computer, then said, “There’s a bonus in your personal account. I didn’t divert any of it to your escrow account. Use it to take a trip, take your parents somewhere, or whatever you want.”

Rebecca was thinking that it was a big personal milestone, but that the four-year countdown was for how long she had to remain a slave. Then she admitted to herself that without this man, she wouldn’t be a slave with an advanced degree, she’d have been meat. “Thank you. The contract didn’t call for a bonus when I graduated.”

“This is a reward. On top of getting the degree, you’ve really cleaned this place’s computers up. Crashes are rare, we don’t lose stuff, our backups actually happen, and no hacker has gotten in since you started. It has had a big positive effect on the business and on the bottom line. On top of that, you’ve been a joy to have around. On top of that, and least importantly, you’ve been a real joy in matters physical. Now go ahead and get yourself ready for your graduation. If you want, bring your parents by to see where you live, unless it would be difficult for you.”

“I think they would like that. They would like to meet you and Julia. I might have to keep my father from going over to the laundry, though. Thank you again.”

“You are welcome and you deserve it. When you have rested up a bit, you might want to think about further professional development. Now, get going! You’re off work! Get!” John smiled broadly as Rebecca rose, went to the door, looked back at him, smiled and wagged her pretty little bottom at him, and left.